As I mentioned in my last blog, I am pleasantly surprised that there are lingerie companies selling full cup bras that do NOT resemble what you would find in your grandma's lingerie drawer. Even my lingerie drawer consists mostly of plain black, nude, and white t-shirt and lace bras. The most exciting bras that I have are two red lace bras and a gray and purple sports bra. I hate to admit it, but I haven't purchased a bra in over three years. So I am a bit behind the times and long overdue for a lingerie wardrobe update. My lingerie drawer is dismal because I used to live in a small town in Ohio and there are no lingerie boutiques that sell G cup bras within 100 miles of where I lived. So I had to order all of my bras online. I chose to stick with the Panache brand because I was fitted for their bras at a lingerie boutique in Houston. Also, I know that sizing can vary between brands and I didn't want to deal with online returns. Prior to living in Ohio, I lived in Philadelphia, which has a few specialty lingerie shops. However, I was a cash poor graduate student and still thought I was a DDD cup (more on that later). I moved to NYC in 2012 and I've recently been to a few lingerie boutiques in Philadelphia and NYC, but they mostly carry nudes, whites, and blacks, which don't excited me. Also, the ones in my size are expensive and hardly ever go on sale. Since I was starting a business, I wasn't trying to drop $100 on a bra. Now, I'm in the market for a new bra and I see that there are more fun options available in my size than when I got my first real fitting...in 2010 when I was 28 years old. Sad, huh? Unfortunately, many women are unable to get properly fitted for a bra due to lack of access to specialty lingerie boutiques with a wide range of sizes. Stores that one finds in the mall usually carry limited cup and band sizes, so their bra fitters will squeeze a customer into the bras that they carry, regardless of whether or not that is her proper size. I was told by a bra fitter at a chain store in the mall that I was a 36DDD when in reality I was a 32G.
Cleo by Panache (see top photo) launched in 2009 and is geared toward the young and young at heart. Some of the major online marketplaces like Bare Necessities and Her Room carry this line and have great sales. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Tuttie Rouge (see bottom photo) and Curvy Kate have an excellent selection of bras that make use of bright colors, cute patterns, and bold prints. Curvy Kate also incorporates details into the overall construction of the lingerie that really make the bras and chemises exciting. Unfortunately, Tuttie Rouge is not sold on any U.S.-based online marketplaces but Curvy Kate can be found at both Bare Necessities and Her Room. Finally, for all of you NYC folks, The Rack Shack is a lingerie and sneaker boutique located in Brooklyn that carries both Curvy Kate and Tutti Rouge, and has a curated selection youth-inspired pieces. I am excited to announce that Exclusively Kristen will be holding a pop up shop at the Rack Shack on April 30. You can RSVP here.
In the near future I will try these three brands (Tutti Rouge, Cleo by Panache, and Curvy Kate) and get back to you :-)
The Kitty Bra and Pantie by Tutti Rouge (Available Summer 2016). Me like a lot!!